Property owners close Jar Trail to the public

Posted at 5:17 PM, Mar 17, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-19 20:31:35-04

A popular hiking trail at the mouth of the Kern Canyon has been closed for good.

Property owners said this was never supposed to be open to the public.

On Thursday, they're asking people to stay out.

"It's green, it's beautiful, it's fresh," said Nicole Chavez, a local who has enjoyed to hike Jar Trail. 

"It's a fun trail. You see people going up there with heavy back packs and weights, carrying their kids to the top. It's a fun thing to do with the family," she said.

Jar Trail is known as a steep, strenuous hike with breath-taking views. But the view is now closed to the public.

This started a few weeks ago when property owners cracked down on trespassers.

"We started informing the public that we closed the trail. Two weeks ago we started installing new fencing and we installed new signs. Last weekend, we took new measures and we brought in a security company," said Darren Filkins, who works for the family business that owns the property.

He said because of social media, Jar Trail has become very popular, bringing close to 50 people to the area on the weekends.

"They have been doing damage to the property, fences are being cut, they've painted on rocks, they're leaving trash behind as well," said Filkins.

He said liability is also a concern. People have been hurt while hiking and some have had to be air lifted out.

"There's a lot of rocks, there's a lot of debris, theres rocks and stone people can slip on, rattlesnakes as well," he said.

The property, part of the Rio Bravo Ranch, is meant for livestock grazing and farmland.

"It would be a major concern of ours if the cattle went onto Highway 178," said Filkins.

The owners said blocking off access is the only way they can keep everyone safe.

"Well, certainly we're sorry and it's unfortunate but I'm glad they had the opportunity to enjoy it and share it with others but at this point, the access has been closed," said Filkins.

Hikers, like Chavez, will now have to find a safe alternative.

"It just sucks that we've been using it for a while now we're left with going back to the bluffs and that's just as crowded as anything else," said Chavez.

Click here for a list of other hiking trails in Kern County.


Like Grecia Aguilar on Facebook:

Follow Grecia Aguilar on Twitter: